Margaret K. Helgeson

Renner, SD
January 24, 2024
Margaret Karyn Helgeson, 73, passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by love on the family farm in rural Renner, South Dakota, on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. Memorial services were held Thursday, February 1, 2024, at West Nidaros Lutheran Church, rural Crooks. Interment was in the church cemetery.
Margaret was born on March 20, 1950, to Hazel (Sheridan) and Phillip Tonseth. The family, including her younger sister Jane, resided in Dell Rapids, SD. Margaret’s caring nature was evident while growing up, many stories have been shared with her family regarding her helping the family cat Twig give birth to a batch of kittens, as well her desire to assist with baking, cooking, and sewing.
Margaret graduated from Dell Rapids High School (DRHS) in 1968 and from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in 1972. Margaret was a second-generation graduate from SDSU (Hazel graduated previously) and was extremely proud that both of her daughters went on to be the third generation to attend and graduate from the great school in Brookings.
During her years at DRHS and SDSU, Margaret honed her skills in the home economic arts as a member of the Future Homemakers of America (FHA) and a Betty Crocker award winner in high school and earning a degree in home economics in college. Margaret was blessed to have wonderful women in her life that taught her how to make the flakiest of pie doughs, the thinnest of lefse, and the heartiest of meals to keep one warm during a long South Dakota winter. Margaret also excelled at sewing, flower arranging, and at creating a new recipe based on whatever she could find in the cupboards.
While bowling in Dell Rapids, SD, Margaret met Glen Helgeson. A few months later, on November 20, 1976, Glen and Margaret were married and Margaret moved to Glen’s family farm near Renner. In the years that followed, they were joined on the family farm by daughters, Kara and Joy; as well as many beloved animals, including a second Twig.
Margaret stayed at home with her daughters on the farm until they were both in school at Baltic, after that she began working a variety of jobs in Sioux Falls until she found her calling as a book seller, first at Cover to Cover in the Empire Mall, then at Gift Port II in the Sioux Falls Airport, and then finally at Barnes & Noble. Margaret was with Barnes & Noble from when it opened in Sioux Falls until she retired.
Margaret’s retirement consisted of helping take care of her two granddaughters, Olive & Eden; playing cards with family and friends; making the best potato soup and poached eggs; and relaxing in her own special way.
Margaret was a member of West Nidaros Lutheran Church, rural Crooks, SD.
Margaret’s caring nature was evident until her final days, as she insisted that her daughters meet her visitors and caregivers at the door, offer them a beverage, and make sure that they let us know when they got home safely due to inclement weather. She was always reminding her daughters to “watch out for weather”.
During her life, Margaret was a loyal friend, family member, colleague, and neighbor. She is survived by daughters, Kara & Joy (Dustin) Lewis; grandchildren, Carter, Olive & Eden; sister, Jane (Christy) Tonseth; sister-in-law, Linda (Claire) Hines; nieces and nephews; and many more.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her infant daughter, Lyn Rachel; and other family members and friends.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers that Margaret’s life is celebrated by donating to the charity of your choice in her name and/or by sharing a story of Margaret’s family (especially her grandchildren) via letter or message.
Funeral services provided by Minnehaha Funeral Home.